Fox on the Obama Campaign TrailAugust 21st, 2008 at 5:04 pm by Andy Fox under Politics
Just back from the Obama Campaign trail. 10 on your side Photographer Art Kohn and I traveled what seems like 50,000 miles across Virginia. Tuesday we traveled to NASCAR town of Martinsville. Wednesday morning we saw Obama at the Patrick Henry Community College.
The Obama campaign very good with the visuals. The backdrop the Motorsports Facility. Obama held his Town Hall meeting in front of race cars on lifts. He hit the usual time for change message, 8 years of Bush is enough, Helath Care, jobs which was the big concern in Martinsville which has lost lots of jobs.
These events are all by invitation and are all pro-Obama. I have noticed that the McCain campaign needs to do a better job at providing balance to the stories. To be at the gatherings ready with sound. There was no Mccain presence outside the Martinsville event.
After that Town Hall meeting we raced to Lynchburg-the birthplace of the Moral Majority-home of the late Jerry Falwells, Liberty University. Again Obama working to win Virginia and going into the toughest places for democrats to run. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine both did well in these areas when they ran for Governor.
We got our reports on air from our Satellite truck and then we drove to Chester which turned out to be two hours away. It was helpful in Lynchburg that McCain supporters showed up for interviews which Anchor Tom Schaad.
Thursday, another early morning for another Town Hall meeting in Chester at John Tyler Community College.
Same message as Wednesday which I could actually follow in my notes. Shows me two things: Obama is very disciplined in his message. The stump speech is organized and appealing to the audience. It is his gift of communication. Opponents call it all style and no substance. But it hits with his base audience. I actually saw some elderly ladies swooning when Obama came by them. Second, the stump speech is couched in the arena Town Hall format which is endearing and shows access-of course not to the reporters who are kept in the cage. Local reporters do not get the same access as the network folks which really gets me going. That said, Obama was gracious in granting me a one on one in February. But I have new questions for him and would like the opportunity to ask them.
This gathering was different because Governor Tim Kaine was there. Kaine was an ealry supporter of Obama when no one even knew who he was. Kaine is on a short list to be the V.P. for Obama. They get along well although I was surprised Obama didn’t heap more praise on Kaine. Kaine didn’t say anything except introduced Obama. I will say this. Wednesday Mark Warner spoke a lot, and it created a lull in the Obama message. Kaine defers to Obama. They are very close and that’s what Kaine really has going for him.
I asked Kaine’s wife Anne Holton if her husband’s the man, and she said, “Oh, Andy I’m really not the right person to ask. That is way above my pay grade.” So I shouted to Obama as he was leaving since we weren’t given access to him, “Hey Senator Obama is Tim Kaine the man? Is he your man for V.P.?” As much as I’d like to report that he divulged the answer to me, he did not. He left without comment with a ton of secret service in tow.
Anyway-got all the reports on air and I sure do appreciate your reading my blog from the road.
Your 10 on Your Side reporter Andy Fox